New Front Yard: Dwarf coyote bush makes sea of green

07/12/2014 12:00 AM

10/04/2014 12:45 AM

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well adapted to our region.

Dwarf coyote bush

Baccharis pilularis

Size: Under 2 feet

Bloom season: Summer, fall

Pruning needs: Little or none

Exposure: Full sun

Water needs: Once established, water twice a month or as needed.

Snapshot: Want a sea of green with little water? This durable ground cover is a favorite for stabilizing slopes and low-water landscaping. A California native, coyote bush is also known as coastal sage scrub, coyote brush or chapparel broom and grows from San Diego to Oregon. It’s an important nectar source for such beneficial insects as predatory wasps, native bees and native butterflies. It tolerates alkaline, sand and clay soils. Coastal varieties such as Pigeon Point hug the ground and stay low. Other varieties grow into soft rounded mounds. The one thing it doesn’t like is dusty leaves; spray them off occasionally to keep the plant looking fresh and growing strong. A big plus for foothill gardeners: Deer won’t eat it.

• For more on the New Front Yard, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

More online

See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at sacbee.com/home_garden .

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